Pasta e lenticchie

INGREDIENTS (serves 5): 

BUYa kit to cook this recipe

Cucina povera (poor cuisine) to the rescue again. Definitely not poor in flavor, just humble ingredients and plenty nutritious. If you love pasta e fagioli then you'll love pasta and lentils. High in iron, protein, fibers and literally a powerhouse of microelements....
Whatever, they taste delicious, that's it, and you can't really mess them up: high five to legumes. Just make sure to screen the lentils for small stones, they are common and naturally occurring because of the harvesting process.

Heat 1/2 cup of olive oil in a large pan with the finely minced onion ginger and garlic and slow fry until fragrant and translucent. Add the lentils and cook on medium heat to have the lentils absorb flavor (around 5 minutes). It's like cooking a risotto, makes sense? Then add the tomato concentrate cook for 2-3 minutes more and then deglaze all with 1/2 cup of red wine (anything goes here...don't look for pricey stuff). Now, lower the flame to a minimum, add 1 1/2 -2 cups of water (or broth if you have any at hand) and season with salt and herbs (be conservative on salt, the sauce might concentrate too much and result too salty otherwise). Cook for 25-40 minutes (depending on the type of lentils you are using: they should be soft but still with some body left). You might need to add a bit of water while the lentils cook; you want to thicken up the sauce but if the lentils need some moisture, small additions of broth or water will do the job. 

In the meantime, bring a large pot of water to the boil and salt it generously (rule of thumb: pasta water tastes like the ocean).
Pour the sardinians in the pot, give them a quick stir and cook them for around 8-9 minutes. Drain the pasta (reserving a cup of cooking water), add to the lentils and toss to combine. You might want to add a bit of the cooking water that you reserved to adjust the consistency.
Add the remaining 1/2 cup of olive oil and garnish with basil leaves, black pepper and the Parmigiano. Voila'.

Wine suggestion: Definitely an acidic wine with some body and structure. You choose your favorite region of the world or ask your local wine shop. Are you into natural wines? Then a Rosso di Caspri, a minimal intervention Sangiovese bursting with tart fruit and brett is your perfect dinner companion.